Minocqua still seeking new tax to support road workSubmitted: 07/11/2019
Story By Ben Meyer

Minocqua still seeking new tax to support road work
MINOCQUA - The Town of Minocqua wants to tax itself more to raise money to fix roads.

Now, it just needs permission from the state legislature.

Town Chair Mark Hartzheim was disappointed lawmakers didn't include approval for a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) in the recent state budget. It would allow the town to add a half-percent sales tax on tourist spending to pay for roads.

"Our roads are, I mean, not terrible. They're not falling apart. But we have almost 200 miles of town roads. We're an enormous township, geographically speaking, so we have an enormous burden," Hartzheim said Thursday. "It just makes sense. We're trying to find ways on our own, without asking the state to give us more money, to fix the roads. It just makes sense for the state to let us do that."

Rhinelander started collecting the special tax in 2017.

Eagle River has had it even longer.

Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) plans to introduce a separate bill allowing Minocqua to start collecting the tax.

"Clearly, Minocqua is a community and an area in the state of Wisconsin that relies on tourism," said Swearingen. "Their population swells, certainly, in the summertime. It takes its toll on their infrastructure and their roads, and they clearly need this exemption."

If Swearingen's bill becomes law, Minocqua would have to get approval from its voters to start collecting the new tax.

An advisory referendum on the question passed easily last November.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


CORNING - A fatal car crash occurred early this morning in the Town of Corning. The crash took place at 3:12 AM on State Road 64.

A witness reports seeing the victim swerve to miss a deer, leaving the roadway, and rolling over. Corning firefighters responded but the victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Charlotte Andreachi owns the Knot Haus craft shop in downtown Tomahawk. This holiday season, she wanted to give back by helping homeless people in the area.

"It's much worse than most of us think, which is what I found out too," said Andreachi.

Then, she got an idea.

"I had a rack in the back that wasn't being used," said Andreachi.

+ Read More

Play Video

- A Minocqua man facing ten felony counts of possessing child pornography waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Matthew Kummer was arrested last month at James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander.

Kummer said he was there to pick up his friend's daughter.

Police later found pictures of underage girls on Kummer's phone and on a flash drive at his home.

Kummer also faces charges of Photographing a minor without consent and violating terms of the sex offender registry.

+ Read More

Play Video

SUGAR CAMP - 23-year-old Sean Holtslander died in Sugar Camp after being hit on his motorcycle in August.

The Oneida county sheriff's office arrested Jeffrey Liebscher in connection to the crash.
Dorothy Holtslander said she feels the justice system failed her son, and her life without her son has been a living nightmare.

She doesn't think the bond for Liebscher matched the circumstances.

"The DA told me he was hoping for $20,000 to $50,000 considering he took a life; I don't think $1,500 is a modest or significant amount," said Holtslander.

+ Read More

MADISON - More than 234,000 voters in Wisconsin would be made unable to cast their ballot unless they register again before the next election under a lawsuit that liberals fear could dampen turnout among Democrats in the 2020 presidential race.

The lawsuit being filed Wednesday could affect how many voters are able to cast ballots in both the April presidential primary and November 2020 general election in Wisconsin.

+ Read More

SHOREWOOD, WI - All public schools in a Milwaukee suburb closed after officials say a high school student wrote a hit list and was found in possession of a loaded magazine of ammunition.

Shorewood School District officials said because of "ongoing safety concerns," classes and activities are canceled Wednesday.

+ Read More

WAUKESHA - Video footage captured a bus driver rescuing two young children found wandering in the snow Monday morning.

When the Waukesha bus driver, Nicole Chamberlain, saw the two children, she didn't hesitate.

+ Read More
+ More General News